The very definition of mind over matter is "the use of willpower to overcome physical conditions or problems". The ability to keep going even when you are tired is a simple question of mind over matter. We’ve all been there. No matter your fitness level. You never quite escape it. It’s a good thing, really. And seeing someone overcome it is why I love my job.
My name is Adam, I’m a Personal Trainer for The Edge in Warwick Rhode Island, and I’m a firm believer that success in health and fitness is 90% between the ears - your mind.
Think back to one of your toughest workouts, a particularly strenuous bout of cardio, or maybe that one heavy lift you never thought you’d get to move. You have your goal in mind as the workout starts, you’re fresh and ready, so off you go. You come out hot. “YEAH I GOT THIS”. Problem: you’re body’s natural ability to summon that natural explosiveness wont last you too long. So you hang on for a bit, but all of a sudden the wheels fall off. Your breath starts to labor and your pace starts to slow. You begin to assess the situation and realize that at best you’re about 1/4th of the way through. “I’m not gonna make it”. “I can’t do it”. “I want to quit”. The negative self talk arises.
And so comes “The Moment”. The moment where either you give in to the liar in your head that feeds you self limiting nonsense, and you accept less than your best, or you find that extra power that’s inside you and achieve what mere seconds ago seemed impossible. Have you experienced this before? Which box do you fit in? Did you succumb or overcome?
I’ve had the chance to train some extraordinary people at The Edge in Warwick; I’ve witnessed this mental struggle before my very eyes. Those who overcome their "impossible" have seen their results and overall wellness skyrocket.
Here is a mental test to try at the gym. I give this test to my clients often, and if they overcome, they are changed for the better. Go to your gym’s row cardio machine. Set the damper resistance all the way to 10. Your distance to hit is 500 meters. Not bad, right? Now, are you ready to give it everything you’ve got? Let’s find out. Rocket out of the gate as fast as you possibly can. The screen will tell you your time elapsed, your distance rowed, and your projected finish time for 500 meters. This will only take a few minutes. But your physical energy will wear down, and now it’s time, do you accept this slow-down or do you silence the liar in your head and bring your pace back to that blistering pace you set when you started? I want to hear from you. I want to know how you did. Because the achievement that comes from this kind of push is beyond reproach, and with a newfound mental toughness, I challenge you to tackle your goals with the very same mental toughness day in and day out. Practicing mind over matter, and building and maintaining mental fitness will help you develop a skill set that can be used to overcome and solve many problems both in and out of the gym.